The clock is ticking down. On or around August, 2018 Prime Minister Trudeau will sign the Cannabis Act – fully legalizing recreational marijuana in Canada.
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With mere months until this $22.6 billion market, which includes retail cannabis and all related products and services, is ripped wide open, there’s a major problem most investors are ignoring: there’s not enough pot to go around.
Licensed cannabis growers only have about 60,000 kg per year of capacity. That’s well short of the 900,000 kg Canadians are expected to consume in the first 12 months after legalization.
What could that mean? In one word – price shocks.
After introducing the world’s first “cannabis streaming” model in 2017, they now have exposure to effectively 2,000,000 square feet of marijuana cultivation space.
They’re poised to participate in every link of the cannabis value chain – from production and distribution to medical applications, nutraceuticals and beverages.
#1 The Great Canadian Marijuana Explosion
In November 2017, the proposed Cannabis Act was passed by the lower house of the Canadian Parliament and is now with the Senate. It is expected that the law will be fully enacted by the end of summer, 2018, opening up all of Canada to legalized cannabis.
That watershed moment is only a few months away.
Consider that the number of medical marijuana patients has already tripled in the last year from around 100,000 to 300,000 and continues to grow at seven percent month over month.
Right now, licensed producers in Canada only provide about seven percent of the potential recreational demand, serving a medical marijuana patient base of 300,000 people.
With full legalization in place, Deloitte estimates the total economic impact of the industry could be $22.6 billion annually – more than the combined sales of beer, wine and spirits.
Canadians will be able to order pot to their door, allowing for easy consumption on a scale never before imagined. That means demand is expected to spike, big time.
Right now, cannabis producers are in a tight spot. Canada currently has just over 100 licensed producers authorized to produce cannabis and only 40 producers authorized to sell cannabis. They grow about 60,000 kg of pot, a mere 7 percent of the potential demand once pot is legalized this summer.
The most recent data by Marijuana Policy Group asserts that demand for recreational cannabis in Canada will be much stronger than expected.
It could exceed 900,000 kgs next year.
Even if every funded square foot of growing space comes online as expected, with no delays whatsoever – we could still be facing a supply shortage through 2021.
Production, distribution, marketing: it’s all in need of rapid expansion.
And, that only accounts for Canadian demand. With legalization sweeping across the globe, including huge markets like California: we may literally run out of pot.
Cannabis Wheaton, thanks to its streaming model, access to capital and market expertise, is well positioned to exploit the need for future expansion.
And, with legalization going global – Cannabis Wheaton could become a future cannabis “multi-national,” serving consumers around the world.
#2 A Unique Streaming Business Model
It’s the first company to propose “cannabis streaming” – bank-rolling the growth plans of licensed producers in exchange for equity and a steady stream of royalties or taking possession of a portion of the actual pot.
The streaming business model is incredibly attractive. It gives you all the upside exposure of individual LPs, with incredible diversification – and fewer operational headaches.
That’s why royalty companies like Franco Nevada in the mining industry ($13.31b market cap) are typically much larger than the companies they partner with and command significantly higher valuation multiples.
CBW has signed partnership agreements with 17 facilities across six provinces, with a combined 2.0 million effective square feet of cannabis growing space.
The company also has partnerships with 39 clinics, with access to over 30,000 registered medical marijuana patients. They’re actively growing that network.
And, here’s the best part – Cannabis Wheaton’s royalty-based business model is designed to allow it to earn immediately from profitable relationships.
They also have tremendous diversification. With interests in numerous operations, if one crop fails – CBW can turn to another producer without breaking a sweat.
Cannabis Wheaton is building a pan-Canadian network of streaming partners – including producers and distributors – just as it prepares for a potential revolutionary expansion in demand.
Check out its streaming partners below:
And, with legalization on the horizon, a whole new class of startup companies are eager to take advantage of this potential $22.6 billion market.
Cannabis Wheaton recently launched its “Wheaton Licensing Program,” to assist applicants wishing to become Licensed Producers with knowledge of the market.
Think of it as an “incubator” for potential cannabis producers and distributors, all of which could be future streaming partners or acquisition targets.
As the industry grows, Cannabis Wheaton aims to be at the center of it all.
#3 “Downstream” Leverage
Eventually – however – supply will catch up with demand. Marijuana scarcity premiums will shrink. In response, the company is aggressively climbing the value chain.
Over the last year, they’ve become a lot more vertically integrated. They plan to participate economically in every part of the marijuana value chain.
The structure they use to talk about this system is the oil and gas terminology of upstream, midstream and downstream.
Upstream is all the cultivation – where they collect royalties from their streaming partners or can take physical possession of the cannabis to sell into a higher value channel where higher margins can be captured.
Midstream is where the product goes after it leaves the grow facilities. Just as it’s playing out in the U.S., lot of cannabis will be consumed in dry forms or oils.
Edibles, beverages and other innovative formats are increasingly popular and today account for at least 50% of products consumed in recreational US states like Colorado and California.
Cannabis Wheaton has responded by going on a dealmaking spree. They bought Dosecann, which has extraction and R&D facilities for developing higher margin offerings.
Downstream is all the straight to consumer distribution channels. Cannabis Wheaton has split these efforts into three channels: medical, domestic retail, and international.
In February 2018, they secured a distribution deal and ownership stake in Inner Spirit – a market leader in the franchising of retail cannabis dispensaries in Canada.
They’ve also partnered with Province Brands – which aims to become the first company to develop a premium line of beverages brewed exclusively from cannabis.
Along with its partnerships, Cannabis Wheaton has entered into a distribution alliance with a national independent convenience store chain. The agreement will give Wheaton a 10-year exclusive relationship with the nation-wide store chain for medical cannabis distribution.
In a recent interview, CEO Chuck Rifici said these deals could “take us from a wholesale per gram cost for a dry flower of 4 or 5 bucks, into a wholesale refined good – which could be 5 or 6 times the revenue per gram equivalent.” That’s a massive competitive advantage.
Cannabis Wheaton also have their eyes set on emerging legal markets in Europe and Latin America. In January, they announced the acquisition of 80 percent of Uruguay cannabis company Inverell – which produces high grade CBD oil at incredible margins.
The international market for cannabis is projected to hit $31.4 billion by 2021.
#4 Broad Access to Capital
In November 2017, Cannabis Wheaton (TSX-V:CBW; OTC: CBWTF) completed a private placement of convertible debenture units for $35 Million in additional capital. Following that in January 2018, the company raised an additional $100 million through another offering of convertible debentures.
That’s on top of $50 million raised in June 2017. This gives The Company a full war chest to finance deals, acquisitions and new streaming agreements.
Cannabis Wheaton recently announced a $10 million debt financing deal with Beleave Inc., the parent company of a licensed producer, built around a novel debt instrument dubbed the Debt Obligation repayable in Product Equivalent, or “DOPE Note”.
The DOPE Note model allows the company to loan Beleave up to $10 million and receive repayment in cannabis, which can be sold by Beleave to its patients and/or customers or the company can sell on to other distributors.
The first $5 million has already been advanced.
Expect to see more of these deals as Cannabis Wheaton continues to aggressively pursue every sector of the marijuana market, in Canada and abroad.
#5 Highly Connected & Experienced Management Team
CEO Chuck Rifici is a well-known figure in the cannabis industry, the co-founder of Canada’s largest government-sanctioned marijuana producer, Canopy Growth Corp., and the man who took it public in April 2014. Canopy has a $6.0 billion market cap and is the largest public cannabis company in the world.
A pioneer of the legal pot trade, Rifici has also sat on the board of a number of industry
standouts, including Supreme Pharmaceuticals Inc. (FIRE), CannaRoyalty Corp. (CRZ) and Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB).
Rifici has the political connections to make it in the world of pot, still an industry in need of strong government direction. He is the former chief financial officer of the Liberal party, and the company’s strategic advisor Rick Dykstra is a former Conservative Member of Parliament and former Ontario party president.
Cannabis Wheaton is well positioned to navigate the regulatory environment. Rifici and Dykstra can count on legal knowledge from industry expert Hugo Alves, a former partner at Bennett Jones LLP, founder of the firm’s Cannabis Group and another industry pioneer and now President and Director of Cannabis Wheaton.
Alves has advised over 15 of the leading licensed producers, as well as 60 ancillary cannabis businesses. Possibly no one in Canada knows more about the regulatory environment than him, and possibly no one could give better advice as to how to navigate the changing waters of the legal cannabis industry than him.
With this management team in place and its unique business model to back it up, Cannabis Wheaton considers itself better positioned than any other firm to take full advantage of the coming cannabis boom.
As we speak, the global legalization wave is picking up steam.
The state of California, one of the largest cannabis markets in the world, started selling recreational pot early this year. By some estimates, the legal cannabis market in North America could be $24.5 billion by 2021.
While federal law in the United States may take some time to change, you can be sure that Germany, Ireland, France, the United Kingdom, Brazil, and a host of other countries will take notice and may also join the cannabis craze.
If investors want to get in on the action, they should consider now as a very good time.
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By. Charles Kennedy
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